HKS Authors

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In these turbulent times, everyone wants you to act quickly. Don't. It's a trap. The strategic moves needed today depend on your ability to make smart decisions—not fast ones. Particularly in times of stress or emergency, the pressure to take quick action is enormous. That pressure plays into many people's strengths and possibly yours as well. Doing something, and quickly, has been a mantra in the American working world, but look where it has led us. The insatiable desire for short-term returns has decimated Wall Street and the U.S. economy as a whole. So many current challenges have no known solution because they stem from complex, new issues. These are what we would call adaptive challenges—issues whose solution is outside your repertoire. The most important thing to do when confronted with these challenges is to resist leaping into action. You cannot solve these complex challenges with mere technical solutions.


Heifetz, Ronald A. "Making Decisions Outside Your Repertoire." Business Week Online. June 18, 2009, 8.